Kesari Kheer aur Pooda (Saffron Infused Rice Pudding w/ Sweet Wholemeal Pancakes


You will need the following for the Kesari Kheer:
2 litre whole milk
50 grams rice
2 tbsp sugar (you can adjust it to suit your taste)
½ tsp saffron
½ tbsp almonds slivered (soaked over-night in water)
½ tbsp pistachio (chopped)
½ tbsp raisin
½ tbsp cashew nuts (roasted) chopped
(using dry fruits is optional)
For Pooda
You need:
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp anise seeds/ fennel seeds
Water (for the batter)
Oil for shallow frying


Wash the rice well.
Boil the milk (on high flame) in a thick bottomed wide-mouthed container stirring it continuously so that it does not burn at the bottom.
Once it is boiled, lower the heat. Remove 2 tbsp of milk in a small cup and add saffron to it. Let it soak at least for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add washed rice to the boiled milk. Increase the heat again and keep stirring it till the milk starts to boil again.
Lower the heat and after 15 minutes add the soaked saffron milk.
Let the milk simmer (stirring it occasionally) till it reduced to half the quantity.
Turn off the heat and add sugar, cashews, almonds, pistachio and raisins.
Serve hot or chill it before serving.
Note: Keep aside a tsp of each of the dry fruits to garnish on the top while serving.
(The kheer will take approximately 45 - 50 minutes to cook)
Making Poodas:
Mix all the ingredients, except water. Bring them all together by gradually mixing in the water. The consistency should not be thin but of a pouring consistency.
Heat a tawa (skillet) and pour 2 tsp oil. Pour a 2 tbsp of batter over the heated oil. Spread it to a round shape but do not make it very thin. Cook it on medium-low heat. Once the top is done, flip it to cook the other side. If the oil seems less, pour a little bit around the edges.
This batter should yield almost 8 poodas


Monsoon is welcomed in the state of Punjab – with Kheer i.e. milk and rice pudding. There goes a saying in Punjabi “Je saawan kheer na khaadi aa, kyon jeena ae apradhiya” which translates to – “one who hasn’t eaten kheer during the monsoon is a sinner and has no reason to be alive!!” So much is the importance of this luxurious and creamy dessert in Punjab J

Traditionally, during the monsoon, this queen of desserts is served with the ‘Pooda’ which is a sweetened pancake made with whole wheat flour. Whenever I make this dish, my mind transports me back to my childhood. Mom used to get up early in the morning, keep the kheer ready before we all woke up, cooled it and by the time we got up she would be ready to make the poodas. Aah! those good ol’days… Personally, I prefer having a piping hot pooda with chilled kheer. I think the contrasting temperature and textures of these two dishes (kheer being creamy and cold; pooda being soft centered with crispy edges and hot) is the ultimate way to enjoy the monsoon!

This creamy dessert is a favourite with children and grown-ups alike. Milk is slowly simmered along with rice till it is reduced to half and achieves a creamy consistency. I would want to categorise this dessert under 'comfort food'. Since it is loaded with calories (pooda being sugary and shallow fried) perhaps for this reason, it is earmarked to be eaten during the monsoon; though I don’t mind eating it on a cold wintery morning too!!

It is simple dessert with very basic ingredients and is made richer with the addition of dry fruits. I prefer it the royal way, i.e. by infusing it with saffron. Its other variant is the Elaichi Wali Kheer i.e. Cardamom flavoured Rice Pudding.

Other Names:





Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 11:43am


Related Cooking Videos